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10 Math Programs for High School Students

If you are a high-achieving and ambitious high school student, the prospect of pursuing math or STEM at a university level is an exciting opportunity to explore your passion and potential.

How to choose a high school math program?

  1. Start by defining your objective - whether it is to increase your understanding of math or add prestige to your college application. For the former, a good summer school should suffice, but for the latter, prepare for a competitive application process for internships and research mentorship programs. Look for programs that are highly selective, free, or offer a stipend.

  2. Conduct thorough research on the host organization and the mentors you’ll be working with.

  3. Read program reviews, and consult with your counselors and math teacher.

  4. Evaluate factors such as location, eligibility, and cost before making a decision.

How we have picked math programs for you


Participating in a highly selective math program can make you an outstanding and competitive applicant. In this article, we will explore some of the best math programs for high school students looking to enhance their skills and stand out in the competitive field of mathematics and STEM. Most of these programs are highly or moderately selective.


Even if the program is not highly selective, it can demonstrate your dedication and interest in pursuing your interests beyond a classroom setting and help you build more skills. You can find more of these opportunities by looking up colleges and exploring their summer offerings.

The PROMYS program runs for six weeks and is designed for exceptional high school students passionate about math. The curriculum focuses on encouraging exploration and discovery. You will attend thought-provoking lectures and advanced seminars, collaborate with peers on problem sets, and engage in mathematical research.

Each year, PROMYS accepts around 80 high school students aged 14 and up and 25 undergraduate counselors. PROMYS is committed to promoting diversity in STEM fields and strongly encourages applications from students who identify as female, African American, Hispanic, or other underrepresented groups.

Location: Residential, Boston University

Cost: The program is free for students whose annual family income is under $80,000.

For students whose family income surpasses this amount, the program tuition ranges from $2000-$6000, depending on the program’s predetermined income brackets.

Application deadline: March 5, 2023

Program dates: July 2 – August 12, 2023

Eligibility: High school students that are at least 14 years old, have completed 9th grade, and are not yet enrolled as a full-time college or university student

If you're a high school student with a talent for math, consider applying to SUMaC. With an acceptance rate of less than 10%, this program hosts only 40 students each year for an academically rigorous three-week experience. Additionally, there is an online cohort of 64 students.

The 2023 curriculum at SUMaC will focus on two main topics: Abstract Algebra & Number Theory and Algebraic Topology. You get to explore a range of fascinating concepts in Abstract Algebra, including the limitations of straight-edge and compass constructions, the classification of patterns in two dimensions, error-correcting codes, cryptography, and the analysis of symmetry in structures. In Algebraic Topology, you will learn various techniques for analyzing topological properties of shapes using algebraic concepts.

During the program, you will work collaboratively on advanced mathematical problems, participate in academically challenging classes and sessions, and gain exposure to important research areas in mathematics.


Location: Residential, Stanford University; Online

Cost:

Online: $3,550

Residential: $8,250

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early February each year.

Program dates:

Session 1

Online: June 19 – July 10, 2023

Residential: June 25 – July 21, 2023

Session 2

Online: July 17 – August 4, 2023

Eligibility: All high school sophomores and juniors, including international applicants

The Research Science Institute (RSI) at MIT provides a unique opportunity for high school students who have demonstrated exceptional aptitude in mathematics, science, and engineering to participate in a six-week program. Only a select group of about 100 talented students worldwide are chosen to participate in this program.

During the program, you will engage in a combination of on-campus coursework in STEM theory and off-campus work in science and technology research. In the first week, you will take STEM coursework and then spend the remaining five weeks conducting research projects under the mentorship of experienced researchers and scientists. Throughout the program, you will be involved in the entire research cycle, from reading the most current literature in your chosen field to drafting and executing a detailed research plan to delivering conference-style oral and written reports on your findings. This immersive experience will allow you to gain hands-on experience with the research process and develop valuable skills that will serve you well in your academic and professional pursuits.

One of 2022’s ‘most distinguished’ oral presentations was on Computing the Mosaic Number of Reduced Projections of Knots and Links under the direction of faculty from the MIT Department of Mathematics.

Location: Residential, MIT

Cost or stipend: None

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early December each year.

Program dates: July - August 2023 (tentatively, based on last year’s schedule)

Eligibility: High school juniors (international applicants are welcome)


4. Lumiere Research Scholar Program – Mathematics Track

Lumiere Research Scholar Programs provide a platform for ambitious high school students to conduct research in mathematics under the guidance of renowned PhD mentors. The program was founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford, and it is entirely virtual, allowing you to engage in research from anywhere in the world. You will be matched with a top PhD mentor and collaborate one-on-one with them to produce a high-quality, university-level research paper.

The program's duration varies based on your research goals and how deeply you would like to explore the subject. As mathematics is a broad subject, the Lumiere Research Scholar Program offers research opportunities across a wide range of topics and encourages students to combine their mathematical interests with other disciplines.

You can find the application form here.

Also, check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.

Location: Virtual

Application deadline: There are four cohorts throughout the year. Applications are due in February, May, September, and December, respectively. Apply here!

Program dates: There are four cohorts throughout the year in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Eligibility: All high school students may apply.


If you are a high-school junior from an underrepresented background, SAMS is a great opportunity for you to earn college credit while mastering fundamental concepts in higher-level math and science. The program runs for six weeks and is completely free. You'll be taught by Carnegie Mellon University faculty and will participate in a challenging curriculum that includes classroom training, hands-on research projects, and professional and academic development courses. At the end of the program, you'll present your STEM research projects at a day-long Symposium.

To be selected for SAMS, you should have a strong interest in math, extra-curricular activities, and/or community engagement, as well as a dedication to diversity and inclusion in education. Students from low-income families, underrepresented communities, and those who have never attended a high school with a long history of admissions to top-tier institutions are highly encouraged to apply.

Location: Residential, Carnegie Mellon University

Cost: Free

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Program dates: July 1, 2023 – August 5, 2023

Eligibility: Must be a current high school junior


Mathroots is a 14-day summer program hosted by MIT-PRIMES designed for high school students from underrepresented backgrounds or underserved communities who have a passion for math and want to explore creative topics in the field. During the program, you'll have the opportunity to discover new mathematical ideas and hone your problem-solving skills. You'll participate in a variety of activities, including classes, group sessions, and lectures led by a team of experienced instructors who have taught both research and competition math. Throughout the program, you'll discover new mathematical ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the subject.

Location: Residential, MIT

Cost: Free

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in early March each year.

Program dates: June 23, 2023 – July 7, 2023

Eligibility: US citizens or students attending high school in the US (before the last year of high school) who are between the ages of 14-18

If you're a highly motivated high school student looking to gain university-level research experience, the Research Mentorship Program is an excellent choice. This highly selective summer program allows you to choose a research project in the discipline of your choice, including a Mathematics track.

During the program, you'll receive training on how to conduct research, write professional papers, and present your findings at formal conferences. You'll be matched with a mentor who will guide you as you work on your research project. Additionally, the Research Mentorship Program offers the opportunity to earn university credits that will be added to your permanent record at UCSB.

If you’re interested in this program, we’ve also written an in-depth piece detailing everything you need to know about RMP 2023!

Location: Residential, UC Santa Barbara

Cost:

Commuter option: Around $5,000

Residential Option: Around $12,000

Application deadline: March 15, 2023

Program dates: June 20 – August 4, 2023

Eligibility: Students all over the world who are in 10th and 11th Grade with a minimum GPA of 3.8


If you're a high school student with an aptitude for STEM subjects, including math, consider applying to COSMOS. This four-week summer residential program is designed to challenge mathematically gifted and motivated students while providing them with the opportunity to work with renowned faculty, researchers, and scientists. Through hands-on and lab-intensive curricula, COSMOS fosters students' interests, skills, and awareness of educational and career options in STEM fields.

COSMOS offers several 'Clusters' at campuses located at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, or UC Santa Cruz. Some of the math-specific clusters include advanced STEM topics like Tissue and Tumor Biology and Mathematical/Computational Modeling, Computation and Machine Learning, Number Theory and Discrete Math, and Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems.

Location: Residential, choice between UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz

Cost or stipend: $4,770 program tuition

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications open in January and close in early February each year.

Program dates: All clusters will run between July 9, 2023 – August 5, 2023

Eligibility: California State students who are rising 8th-11th graders

PRIMES-USA is a one-year research program focused on mathematics, which is free for high school students. The program is accessible to students from all over the United States, and every selected student is mentored by graduate students and faculty from various universities, including MIT.

The program is divided into four distinct phases that take place throughout the year. During Phase 1, you engage in advanced reading. In Phase 2, you conduct active research with the guidance of mentors. In Phase 3, you engage in independent study. In the final phase, Phase 4, you finalize your project with the help of your mentor and present your findings at the Fall-Term PRIMES conference held in mid-October. In addition to presenting, you are required to write a final paper that summarizes your research results. This paper can be submitted to professional research journals and competitions for publication.

Location: Virtual

Cost: None

Application deadline: Applications for 2024 will open on October 1, 2023. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close at the end of November each year.

Program dates: Year-Round, from January 1 to December 31 of the calendar year.

Eligibility: High school juniors and sophomores (including home-schooled) residing in the United States are eligible if they live no closer than 50 miles from Boston (Students residing within driving distance from Boston should apply to the MIT section of PRIMES).

Math ExpLR is a 6-week program focused on the intersection of mathematics and biology. This program offers students a unique opportunity to gain insight into the world of mathematical research and university studies. You will collaborate with undergraduate students and work on a computational biology research project under the guidance of a principal investigator.

The program also includes weekly skill development activities that cover a range of topics, including how to effectively deliver presentations, how to write math using computer software, the basics of Matlab, and principles of mathematical modeling. Upon completion of the program, each team will present their research findings and submit an expository paper that describes their work in detail.

Location: Residential, UC Irvine

Cost or stipend: Free

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications close in February each year.

Program dates: June 26, 2023 – August 4, 2023

Eligibility: All high school students

Bonus entry:


The Ross Mathematics Program is a great opportunity for highly motivated high school students with a love for mathematics. This intensive six-week residential summer experience is designed to help you explore the subject with a focus on Number Theory.

During the program, you'll attend ten hours of class per week, consisting of five hours of lectures and five hours of small-group meetings. The rest of your time will be spent working independently on the challenging mathematical ideas presented in class and on problem sets. You'll have the opportunity to study a range of topics, including Euclid's Algorithm, Quadratic Number Fields, Polynomials, Gaussian integers, and more. The Ross Program is an ideal setting for you to deepen your knowledge of mathematics in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Location: Residential, Otterbein University or the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (depending on which session you choose)

Cost: $6,000 program tuition

Application deadline: March 31, 2023

Program dates:

Otterbein University: June 11, 2023 – July 21, 2023

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology: June 18, 2023 – July 28, 2023

Eligibility: High school students aged 15-18 years

There are plenty of other great program opportunities in math, so here are a few other paid and free math programs you can consider:


Free:

Paid:


If you're looking for a real-world internship in math and related fields that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!


Ladder Internships is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world! 


The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas. The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 


The fields include technology, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.


You can explore all the options here on their application form. As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!


Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship. These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 


The AI Fellowship program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects here


Location: Virtual

Cost

  • $1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

  • $4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

  • $4,700 for both

  • Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply here

Application deadline: On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates: Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity: Moderately selective

Eligibility: Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 



Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image source: MIT PRIMES website



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